G.I.T. Beach and Aquatic Park
Even though some “casotti,” or changing-rooms, already existed along the shore by the mid nineteenth century, Grado began as a seaside and therapeutic resort in 1873 with what was known as the “young people’s beach,” or rather the beach of the “scrovoleri”: these were the children suffering from tuberculosis or rickets, guests of the Ospizio Marino, which was the first of its kind during the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The beneficial effects of Grado’s fine sand, excellent sea water, pure air and mild marine climate led the Emperor Francis Joseph to officially acknowledge it as a Health Resort in the early summer of 1892. The first hotels, holiday homes and proper bathing establishments, featuring not only wooden piers and balconies, but also the traditional “tents”, became available for the increasing number of holidaymakers. The administration and management passed from the Azienda dei Bagni to Grado’s Curatorio per l’Amministrazione degli Stabilimenti Balneari. Biagio Marin, the island’s most famous bard, was appointed Director of the Organization in the mid-1920s. In 1933, the Tourist Information Board took over the work of the Curatorio and, in 1952, the Seaside Resort also became an official Health Resort. During the 90s, additional changes in management and administration led to the foundation of G.I.T. (Grado Impianti Turistici S.p.A.), which manages all the structures and facilities for the Main Beach, the thermal baths and the wellbeing centre with its thermal swimming pool. The GIT beach is equipped with cabins, sunshades, sunbeds and deckchairs and stretches for approximately three kilometres. It ideally faces south so it is bathed in sunlight throughout the day. The gradual slope of the seabed makes it extremely safe even for inexpert swimmers. During the holiday season, lifeguards and coast guards guarantee additional safety. Special attention has been paid to accessibility and the absence of physical barriers by introducing walkways and other structures or devices, which considerably improve the beach’s user-friendliness. Showers with water heated by solar panels, toilets, car parks, family areas and other useful facilities are found all along the beach. Grado’s top quality sea water, exceptionally clean beach and the care taken of the entire resort has meant it has been constantly awarded the FEE Blue Flag since 1989 without fail (a national record), and can guarantee excellent levels of protection for tourists and residents alike. Even the most demanding guests are happy with the numerous facilities on this beach, which include a more exclusive area, a sports area and one for mothers and their babies. Last but not least, the Lido di Fido, Grado’s dog beach, enables dog owners and their 4-legged friends to spend truly relaxing days with all the latest comforts by the sea. Overlooking the beach there are plenty of places to eat and traditional kiosks offering tasty refreshments. Organised sports and cultural events are also held during the summer. The Aquatic Park surrounded by greenery leading straight off the beach in the Città Giardino (Town-Garden) area is open from June to September. Designed for the enjoyment of young and old, it has an 85-metre long, curved, sea-water swimming pool, with cascade water jets, a channel for swimming upstream, hydromassage and underwater benches for air bubble massages, all for your physical wellbeing. If you feel a bit more athletic, there are also trampolines, water slides and children’s games. There’s a ‘solarium,’ an immense relaxation area with an elegant gazebo, brand new sunshades and comfortable sunbeds. With a couple of bars, one of which has underwater seating, the Aquatic Park also offers its guests a panoramic terrace with a Whirlpool and many other facilities and opportunities: Grado Impianti Turistici organizes a wide range of entertainment, various gym activities and group dances for everyone to enjoy.